The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power provides an explanation for the Elves’ migration from Middle-earth in the Fourth Age. In the original Tolkien lore, the Elves were beckoned by the Valar to leave Middle-earth and seek out the Blessed Realm of Valinor. Weary from centuries of battling evil and fearing the inevitable fading, the Elves left the lands of Middle-earth for the future of Men and Dwarves after the destruction of the One Ring.
The Rings of Power season 1 ending helps to explain a significant cause of the Elves’ exodus. The crafting of the three Elven rings, imbued with the power of Mithril, halted the blight afflicting the tree of Valinor and the inevitable fading of the Elvenkind. However, the destruction of the One Ring in the Third Age would remove this magical safeguard, as the Elven rings would no longer hold their power. With this saving grace destroyed and the tree once more afflicted, the Elves would be forced to leave Middle-earth for good upon the coming of the Fourth Age.
The Elven rings were the first three Rings of Power created under Sauron’s guidance with the power to heal and preserve. The last one, the Ruling Ring, had the ability to bind and control all the Rings of Power. The destruction of the One Ring by Frodo in the Third Age led to the fall of Sauron. Because the One Ring held dominion over those beneath it, the Rings of Power lost their own power. While the Elves were the first to become wise to Sauron’s intentions, they did use the rings to their advantage during his absence; with the One Ring destroyed for good, however, the three Elven rings no longer provided the protections they once did.
While being forced to leave Middle-earth at the threat of fading away may sound like a terrible fate, it is indeed a good ending for Elvenkind. As immortal beings that desperately grasp at the past, Elves typically reject the types of change that come with the passing of time. However, the destruction of the One Ring and the inevitability of their impending deaths forces the Elves to accept that change must come at some point and that their time on Middle-earth has come to a close. While the Elves represented Middle-earth’s past, the future of Middle-earth lies in the hands of mortal Men. While they desperately fought to preserve their way of life in the Second Age, the destruction of the One Ring allowed the Elves to accept their fate and find peace after centuries of keeping evil at bay.
While the Elves of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power are immune to the passing of time, they cannot deny change forever. Their time in Middle-earth is limited, and while the Three Elven Rings delays the inevitable, their time to leave Middle-earth will eventually come to pass. With Sauron defeated for good and Middle-earth no longer in need of their defense, the Elves can return to their homeland of Valinor, embracing the passing of time and the peace that follows war. Though it will be centuries before they can return home for good, the events of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power set the Elves on the road to their eventual happy ending.